updated 07:53 pm EDT, Wed October 31, 2012
Non-practicing entity owns a single patent on messaging
A "patent troll" type company that owns a single patent (not their own invention) has added Apple and its FaceTime and and Messages to a long list of companies it is suing for patent infringement. The patent, granted in 2006, concerns "an inter-carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience." It was assigned to the Texas company Intercarrier Communications expressly for the purpose of suing other companies. Apple and a number of other companies have been sued over the patent in the last week.
The suits, filed in eastern Virginia district court, are against Apple, Broadsoft, Inerop Technologies, Iris Wireless, Mobiweb and others. Judge John A. Gibney will be the presiding judge, and no trial date has yet been set. Apple, as the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world and one that is sitting on an enormous cash reserve, is a tempting target for non-practicing entities and companies that believe they can leverage cash for their patents out of the company.
Intercarriers Communications v. Apple